The Icelandic national team in men’s football had to accept losing against Switzerland by two goals, 0-2, on their home turf at Laugardalsvöllur stadium in Reykjavík yesterday, in the qualifying build-up to the 2014 World Cup.
Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson (10) in action. Photos by Geir Ólafsson/Iceland Review.
Iceland came close to scoring on two occasions in the first half. Swiss goalkeeper Diego Bengalio first deflected a free kick from Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson and later prevented Alfreð Finnbogason from scoring, Fréttablaðið reports.
Even though they were in control in the first half, Switzerland didn’t score a goal and the game was equal at half time. Early in the second half Birkir Bjarnason of Iceland hit the Swiss crossbar and shortly afterwards the opponents responded with two goals, scored by Tranquillo Barnetta in the 65th minute and Mario Gavranovic in the 79th.
Swiss goalkeeper Diego Bengalio prevented Birkir Bjarnason (8) from scoring.
“On a scale from one to ten I give my disappointment a ten. You can accept a loss if the other team in much better but that wasn’t the case,” commented Iceland’s manager Lars Lagerbäck. “We were too passive in the first half but moved forward in the second. Judging by the chances that we got we deserved points but it’s the goals that count.”
“If we had earned seven points I would be satisfied but six points are all right. We are in and we will continue to fight next year. I promise you that,” concluded Lagerbäck.
Alfreð Finnbogason (19) in action.
Switzerland is at the top of qualifying group E with ten points, Norway places second with seven, Albania third with six, Iceland fourth with six, Slovenia fifth with three and Cyprus bottoms out with three.
Iceland’s next game is away against Slovenia on March 22, 2013.
Click here to read about Iceland’s game against Albania on Friday.